March 31, 2017

February/March Book Haul

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! I hope you are all doing well! I wanted to share with you some quick pics of the books I have picked up the past two months. I received some Barnes and Noble gift cards for Valentine’s Day and hopped online to order a few things. Let me know in the comments below what books you have picked up recently, whether they are e-books, library books or you made a trip to the bookstore to add to your personal library.

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March 28, 2017

Book Review | Lady Renegades

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Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins is the third and final book in the Rebel Belle trilogy. This series follows Harper Price, a Southern Belle who acquires ancient powers that make her a Paladin. She is tasked with protecting her rival in school, David Stark, who is revealed to be a male Oracle, which makes his powers and visions more unpredictable and dangerous. After an incident in the second book, David decides it would be best if he left town and runs away.

The story picks up in the summer before senior year of high school. Harper and her best friend Bee are working at the pool and are attacked by another Paladin who says David sent her to kill Harper. Shortly after this attack Harper and Bee decide to go on a road trip to find David and try to save him from himself.

This is unfortunately one of those series where the first book is great, the second book is okay, and the final book falls by the wayside (sort of like Divergent). Nothing really happens in this book apart from Harper whinnying about her powers growing weaker, about missing David and about Blythe, a Mage who has accompanied Bee and Harper on this trip. It’s a paint-by-numbers road trip: they visit one place to get some information about David, go to another place to get info, and so on and so forth until they eventually find him and then the book ends. This very well could have been a novella and certain scenes could have been cut out that would not have made the story drag.

The first book, Rebel Belle, is definitely worth checking out. David and Harper had such a great relationship in that book, and I thought the overall plot was unique to what was on the market at that time. I also really enjoyed Miss Mayhem, but if you have read those and just want to finish the series, save your money and check Lady Renegades out from the library.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read the Rebel Belle series, or any of Rachel Hawkins’s other books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

March 27, 2017

Book Review | Watchmen

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Hey there Literature Lovers! Today I’m here with a review of the graphic novel Watchmen.

Watchmen

Watchmen was originally published from 1986 to 1987 by DC Comics. The story was written by Alan Moore with artwork by Dave Gibbons. The twelve-chapter story is set in an alternative version of history that mirrors what really happened in the early 1980s with the inclusion of superheroes and how they would have had a hand in events such as the Cold War and JFK’s assassination.

It begins in 1985 with the death of The Comedian, a former member of the crime-fighting group known as the Minutemen. Rorschach, another member of the team, begins to investigate the murder, believing there is a “mask killer” on the loose and tries to band together his former colleagues, including Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, and Nite Owl. None of them believe his theory that someone trying to kill the now retired vigilantes, mostly because Rorschach has always been a bit of a psychopath and they don’t want to be a part of this potential delusion. However, as more time passes and new threats arise (someone shooting at Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan being forced into exile), Nite Owl and Silk Spectre decide that Rorschach must be on to something and agree to help him find out who is behind these attacks.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. Normally I don’t go for dark, gritty storylines, but Watchmen introduced me to interesting characters that kept me invested. The ending was a little strange to me, but it’s a superhero comic, things are going to be strange and silly, even in a darker storyline. I’m looking forward to giving the movie a shot soon.

Let me know in the comments below if you have read Watchmen, and what other dark comics and graphic novels you would recommend.

Thank you for reading!

March 2, 2017

February Wrap-Up 2017

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Hey there Literature Lovers! I hope you’ve had a great February. Here’s a quick list of the things I read this past month. Let me know in the comments what you read and if you had a favorite book from your list.

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Black Canary Volume 2: New Killer Star by Brendan Fletcher

The Fade Out: Act Two by Ed Brubaker

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

•Archie #17 by Mark Waid

Jughead #9 by Ryan North

Thanks for reading!

February 22, 2017

Book Review | Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a new take on the wacky world of Sabrina Spellman, better known as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This series focuses on the dark cult aspects of witchcraft.

I loved the first 10 issues of the Afterlife with Archie series and wanted to give this a shot. I vaguely remember seeing reruns of the Sabrina TV show with Melissa Joan Hart as well as the animated series that I believe used to run on Toon Disney, but I had not read a ton of her comics unless she appeared in a Jughead or Archie story so I was excited to dive into this.

I loved the artwork in this series. Where Afterlife used bold orange and reds to illustrate the gravity of the horror setting, this series uses what appears to be colored pencil illustrations, which add an air of both whimsy and mystery, which I think sums up Sabrina pretty well. I loved seeing some familiar faces (Betty and Veronica as witches from Riverdale) as well as experiencing the wild and oftentimes scary world of magic.

Overall this is a great first volume and I can’t wait for Volume 2 to release! I highly recommend!

Rating: 4 out 5 Stars.

Are you a Sabrina fan? Do you have a favorite story of hers? Share with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 16, 2017

Series Review | Black Canary (New 52)

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So I’m going to be honest: I had no clue who Black Canary was until I started watching Arrow on Netflix. Growing up I was a hardcore Marvel fangirl (specifically a Spider-Man and Fantastic Four fangirl) and only read the occasional Superman comic book here and there. The dark gritty DC Universe did not appeal to me at all. But after I got hooked on The Flash TV show I decided it was worth checking out the other big DC show. Black Canary quickly became my favorite character to watch and, even though I personally liked her sister Sara a little more, I enjoyed seeing Dinah “Laurel” Lance in action.

Brendan Fletcher brought Dinah Lance to life in the Black Canary New 52 series. This storyline had a shorter run than most of the others in the New 52 as DC Rebirth had just started up, but it was still an enjoyable story that didn’t feel too rushed.

Dinah Lance is the front-woman for the punk rock band, Black Canary. She must her super sonic voice to help stop crime and get her a record contract.

While both volumes of the trade paperbacks were great, I enjoyed the second volume a little more than the first. Kicking and Screaming kept giving me Josie and the Pussycats vibes for a while, with the one mean girl talking trash with Dinah and her bandmates. New Killer Star had that as well, but it felt like its own thing, with music and mystery and lots of action.

If you like kick butt girl bands and strong female superheroes, then you definitely need to check this out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Who is your favorite female DC hero? Please share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 9, 2017

Book Review | The Miserable Mill

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The Miserable Mill is the forth book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the thirteen-book series documenting the lives of the Baldulaire orphans as they try to escape the clutches of the villainous Count Olaf. It is also my least favorite of the first five books. By book four the formula of the children being placed in the care of a random guardian that is not an actual relation of theirs and having to outwit the grownups was becoming a bit stale. This particular one was also a little over the top when it came to the reader’s suspension of disbelief. While Lemony Snicket’s world is supposed to be completely ridiculous, I remember always thinking it was strange that Mr. Poe was dropping off the children at a lumber mill. They had no relation to Sir or Charles. Did he just call up a lumber mill and ask if they wanted three kids? And of course there is the scene toward the end where Sunny sword fights with her unusually sharp teeth.

…okay.

The one thing that I enjoyed was the inclusion of hypnosis. Although I have read this multiple times growing up and so already knew about this story line, it is a great twist and how it was revealed I thought was handled really well.

As I said, this isn’t my favorite of the first five installments of the series, but still an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.

February 9, 2017

Book Review | The Reptile Room

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The Reptile Room is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a thirteen-book series documenting the lives of the Baudelaire orphans. After living with their evil relative Count Olaf the children are sent to live with Dr. Montgomery Montgomery (whom they call Uncle Monty), an energetic herpetologist who is a ray of sunshine in the childrens’ gloomy lives.

This was, and still is, one of my favorite books in the series. After the terrifying experience of living in the villainous Count Olaf’s house, I was relieved that Violet, Klaus and Sunny were able to find an adult who seemed to respect them and wanted what was best for them. Uncle Monty embraced the skills all three children had and was encouraging them to expand these abilities within his Reptile Room. He provided them with a loving and comfortable home and seemed willing to keep them safe from harm. I wish that he could have featured more in later books, but the Baudelaires rarely have anything pleasant like that happen to them.

The Reptile Room features the first appearance of Count Olaf in disguise. Olaf can be a sinister character, but he definitely stepped it up in this book, always being around the children and wielding a sharp knife which he threatens to use on an infant. Stephano in the movie was played up as a more silly character so I’m interested to see how he is presented in this new television show.

My favorite thing about this book was the reptiles. The Incredibly Deadly Viper and all the other creatures were so interesting to learn about. I’m not normally someone who likes snakes, but after reading this I might look into more books featuring or about herpetology.

As I said before, this one of my favorite books in the series and I am looking forward to watching this episode in the new Netflix series. I highly recommend you check this one out if you haven’t already.

What is your favorite book from A Series of Unfortunate Events? Are you going to check out the show? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

February 7, 2017

Book Review | The Bad Beginning

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The Bad Beginning is the first book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. This book introduces us to the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, as they are placed in the care of the cruel and calculating Count Olaf following the demise of their parents. Using their intelligence and unique talents the orphans must find a way to keep their inheritance out of the hands of their evil guardian.

I was introduced to this series by my third grade teacher, who used to read the books to our class. I have read them multiple times throughout the years and still find them entertaining as an adult. I love all the Baudelaires. I dressed up as Violet one year for Halloween, using costume inspiration from the movie that was released in 2004. I used to try and memorize everything I read so I could be like Klaus, who was able to pull out useful facts in even the most stressful of situations. I didn’t really try to imitate Sunny since she was a baby who liked to bite things, but I was impressed with the level of understanding an infant, even a fictional one, seemed to have about these terrible situations she was in.

I had not read this book since high school, so for about five or six years, but since the Netflix show was coming out, I thought it would only right to give the first four books a reread. Despite the large gap of time, this is probably the book I remember most clearly. I think it’s because this was one of the first audiobooks I ever bought. I swear I listened to it so many times I probably could have recited the whole book. Even after all this time, Olaf and his acting troupe terrify me (especially the Hook-Handed Man), I find Mr. Poe frustratingly incompetent, and I still desperately wish that I could give the poor orphans a hug and help them get out of that terrible situation.

One of my favorite scenes in this story (maybe even in the entire series) is Violet making the grappling hook to save Sunny from the top of Count Olaf’s tower. Violet had the incredible ability to make something functional out of limited resources. She only needed three things to make her grappling hook and managed to make it work until she was caught by the Hook-Handed Man.

This is simply one of my favorite series of all time. I highly recommend reading these books, and I hope that the new Netflix series will inspire a new group of people to go out and grab themselves a copy of these books.

What are your thoughts on this series? Did you read them as a kid? And what do you think of the new Netflix series? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!